If you take a look at Silicon Valley, you’ll get the idea that every company thinks local, global and social. However, for any company doing business on a global scale, being truly local remains a massive challenge.
Having your services accessible anywhere in the world is today’s norm. Dealing with people directly, investing in local partnerships and on-site hardware, hiring local people and operating dedicated regional offices is quite another – and it’s as hard as it ever was.
At Infobip, we're running a global messaging platform sending out huge communication volumes daily, so you worry about geo-redundancy, load balancing and going offline, but you also worry about that same level of commitment going into your approach towards local markets.
Opening offices worldwide is just the first step. Being on the ground from India to the UK means we’re able to perfectly understand local customs, regulations and ways of doing business. For example, you have to understand that in Japan, you can't offer your digital content in Japanese Yen unless you have a registered legal entity in the country.
Nuances like this are why entering each new market is a unique challenge. Sometimes you can barely get a handle of local regulations to start offering your services, but it all leads to accumulated experience over time. You eventually learn how it all works and start achieving sustainable, long term relationships. Going forward, that experience turns into a strategic advantage for your business portfolio.
Leaving a local footprint
Everyone wants to leave a lasting footprint, companies are no different. Investing in a community isn't just hiring local people or bringing in hardware and business opportunities to that particular part of the world.
To become truly local, you have to actually serve the needs of people you're trying to reach and sell your services to. For example, we try to do our part by maintaining a yearly donation budget aimed at supporting local healthcare initiatives. Education is another way your company can leave a lasting mark on any community, creating a platform for future generations.
By supporting the leading SE European initiative for project-based cooperation of students and companies we’re trying to provide real-life business experiences for students across Eastern Europe, both nationally and internationally. Our long-term project with local universities and associations in Sarajevo helps the practical education of software developers. Infobip Developer Campus, established in 2012, also provides free-of-charge education and workshops - the initiative focuses on learning different development roles and responsibilities throughout a project’s lifecycle.
Partnering with non-profit organizations such as REFUNITE, allows us to support commendable international initiatives with unique, global reach. Currently, this cooperation is able to deliver access to an online family tracing platform via SMS and/or USSD in DR Congo, Jordan and Turkey, providing displaced families with a way to find and reconnect with their loved ones. We're proud of that.
Respecting people who use your product
Again, it's about respecting the people you do business with. According to an analysis made by US-based Nielsen, 55% of users are willing to put more of their money into products of companies committed to social responsibility. Your consumers are people – in order to earn or even merit their trust in your company, actually become a part of their community.
It might take a lot of time and effort to build that trust. However, that trust might make all the difference in the world for your business. We certainly think it does.